By Paul Fein
The average student loan debt last year for graduates of four-year colleges who took out loans was $28,650, according to the latest version of an annual report from the Institute for College Access and Success (TICAS). The average amount was up $300, or 1 percent, from 2016.
Figures from the report were based on debt levels from college seniors who graduated from public and private colleges last year. Roughly two-thirds (65 percent) of this group took on at least some student debt.
“While student loans can be an excellent investment, there is a crisis among the millions of students who struggle to repay their loans, and they are disproportionately students of color or from low-income families,” James Kvaal, the group’s president, said in a written statement. “We need to invest more in student aid and in colleges to reduce students’ need to borrow, and make their loans easier to repay.”
Average student debt levels have increased more slowly in recent years. While its unclear why this is happening, TICAS said increases in state spending and grant aid are likely contributors to the trend.